Christina Kang-Yi, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kang-Yi’s research relies on partnerships with publicly-funded agencies and is designed to create actionable evidence for publicly-funded systems to use in improving care and outcomes for vulnerable populations. This research has shaped Philadelphia’s mental health policy and practice. For example, her evaluation of school-based mental health programs led Philadelphia’s mental health system to promote family engagement and partnership with schools to maximize the effect of interventions in schools on children’s mental health and school functioning. Dr. Kang-Yi’s study on the connection between mental health care and jail recidivism led Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health to design, implement, and coordinate psychiatric treatment at the time of incarceration, with the goal of preventing re-incarceration by connecting individuals with psychiatric treatment upon release from jail.
Dr. Kang-Yi’s partnership-based research led her to study contexts and mechanisms of public-academic partnerships that lead to fostering policymakers’ use of research evidence and eventually promoting youth mental health and wellbeing. She also studies mental health disparity by sex, race, and ethnicity to effectively promote psychiatric treatment engagement of youths and young adults. She hopes the impact of her research will be contributing to optimizing public-academic partnerships in promoting policymakers’ use of research evidence to improve mental health and wellbeing of all individuals with psychiatric disorders. Dr. Kang-Yi received her PhD from the Columbia University School of Social Work. She did her postdoctoral fellowship at the Penn Center for Mental Health.